How an economist Rajan turned into a 'rockstar'
Archana Khatri Das
New Delhi: Usually the exit of policymakers from the scene of action, for whatever reason it may be, does not draw such a show of emotions from the country at large- as it did when Raghuran Rajan, the Governor of Indian's central bank, announced that he would be returning to teaching after the end of his term at RBI in September.
Rajan is trending on Twitter for the third consecutive day today. What is it in Rajan that has left many disturbed that he will no more be at the helm of RBI very soon?
Raghuram Rajan, who shared his future plans in an email to his colleagues at RBI, said that he will always be available to serve his country when needed. Only an oracle can predict what the future would unfold for Rajan; but nobody can take away his legacy of restoring macroeconomic stability in the country through the couple of measures he unleashed.
Rajan himself highlighted the path that he charted as RBI chief in the email to his colleagues. "I laid out an agenda for action that I had discussed with you, including a new monetary framework that focused on bringing inflation down, raising of Foreign Currency Non-Resident (B) deposits to bolster our foreign exchange reserves, transparent licensing of new universal and niche banks by committees of unimpeachable integrity, creating new institutions such as the Bharat Bill Payment System and the Trade Receivables Exchange, expanding payments to all via mobile phones, and developing a large loan data base to better map and resolve the extent of system-wide distress".
Rajan's legacy is here to stay, and hopefully, will serve as a foundation for his successors.
The Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, on Rajan's public announcement of going back to academia, tweeted that government appreciates the good work done by him. Raghuram Rajan was appointed RBI Governor at a time when the rupee was battered and bruised, and runaway inflation was eating into the reserves of common man and raising concern for the government. His role in bringing out the hidden skeletons in the cupboard of PSU banks, and advising them to stop 'pretending' that bad debts were not bad debts at all; his efforts towards pushing state-owned banks towards greater competition- all is part of his legacy for which he earned the huge fan following and earned the sobriquet of 'rockstar'. No doubt, the country wants him to stay back and complete the unfinished agenda.
Raghuram Rajan, his background-a former chief economist at IMF, foreseeing financial crisis in 2008 et al- and his work as RBI Governor- has played a big role in building India's credibility among the global community. So what if he had just begun his job and is leaving it halfway? You must have heard the proverb, 'work well begun is half done'